Walking the Path, Part II: Behind the Name

24 Feb

Behind the Name
Walking the Path, part II
A blog on IsisStorm.com
By Jay Walker

Jay Walker, the first Isis Storm “Man We Love” blogger, is “reaching out to the world through his poetry, speaking on world issues and reflecting on all the aspects & events of his life and his art.” His forthcoming book, “Where I’m Coming From” is not a love letter to Rhode Island; it’s a declaration of the status of his emotional journey to the ultimate destination of peace, love & nakedness for all.” Click here to learn more, read reviews and to order Walker’s latest release or attend his Release Party happening on Thursday, February 24.

RHODE ISLAND – OK, when this movie came out, how many people were floored? It wasn’t just the effects that blew people’s minds, it was the story. Now, some say the themes & theories have been discussed in philosophy for some time & others say the storyline was even stolen by the Wachowski Bros. from someone else, but that’s not really the point. The point is that I was one of those whose mind was blown by it, especially because of all the ways it touches upon real-life, whether we’re truly in a matrix or not. There are so many universal truths & life lessons to take from this film, but this one has resonated with me deeply, which is why I chose this particular clip. There are times when I feel like I’ve known the path for years, even decades, but have yet to start truly walking it.

I’ve always been a sensitive person & considered myself highly spiritual. During my grade school years, my belief in God & Jesus Christ kept me from slitting my wrists or, as another family member attempted, popping too many pills; in college, my open mind led me on the path I walk now, that of the seeker, open to all belief systems. When I went to catechism, it was one of the few times I was popular; I would ask the instructor a few deep questions about the lesson plan, which meant that she didn’t call on most of the other students, & they were happy about that. The real thing of it, though, was that I was asking deep questions about the lesson plan; I actually did the reading & the thinking about it, even at that young age. I’ve been writing poetry since high school, about relationships & other struggles of life. While I was in college the first time, I was always getting great marks on the philosophy work I completed (although that wasn’t much); I even passed a logic course just from my notes, having never opened the workbook & barely opened the course book. This is how my mind has always worked, being on the path to balance.

Unfortunately, real-life experience hasn’t always worked that way. I was born a Libra & am very proud of it, but one of the misconceptions of the sign is that we represent balance, with our symbol being the scales. No, we represent the SEARCH for balance. Just because we strive for balance, it doesn’t mean we always achieve it. Sometimes, weighing all the options makes us wait too long, & in life, either you make a choice or it’s made for you; there’s no in-between. Sometimes, our fight for the middle ground puts us at odds with both sides, making us loners. Sometimes, our overdeveloped sense of justice turns us into zealots for the cause, a cause, any cause. Our ruling planet is Venus, making us sensitive, passionate & compassionate but also lured by beauty & pleasure; like the scales, this can go either way, being either very good or very bad for the Libra & everyone else involved.

My own personal struggles have left me feeling very unbalanced & unfulfilled. I’m striving to make a living at being an artist. All I want in life is to create & promote my poetry, acting, music & other artistic endeavors, to learn & grow as an artist & a person, & to inspire that type of growth in everyone, especially my son, while earning enough to support him & myself. I would live in a van down by the river, like Chris Farley’s famous SNL character, if it meant I had enough paid artistic work to secure my son’s future; this has yet to be the case. I’m grateful to members of my family for helping me through the hard times, while I attempted school after school, in efforts to get a better job, or started a new business endeavor, but this fire has been to date very slow in building. Sometimes, it just gets so frustrating.

I make no effort to hide my seemingly lifelong battle with mental illness. Sometimes, it physically weighs down on me & makes difficult my attempts to be self-sufficient. Sometimes, the very people who keep me afloat are the very people who exacerbate the issue, which keeps me right where I am: just afloat, like with a life preserver, rather than driving the boat. Sometimes, I wind up shooting myself in the foot, because I lash out at those who both hold me up & hold me back. As a result, I’ve lost jobs, friends, & loves. I know the answer lies in the ability to find balance, but it has to date eluded me. How do I hold back what I feel is righteous anger? How do I stand up for myself & what I believe, without standing against those who stand against it? How do I fight for what’s right without alienating myself?

When I was just a pup in the spoken word scene, a beautiful young black woman let me borrow her copy of the Tao Te Ching, a popular book of Asian poetry; if I could remember her name or how to find her, I’d return it. When I first read it, I felt that the individual passages were beautiful, but I quickly became bored with it, because all the pieces seemed to say the same thing over & over again. Lately, my good friend & colleague Yunus has been reading it & it makes me want to dig it out from wherever it’s buried, so that I can read it again; I feel like I’m at an age & level of experience where I can better appreciate its wisdom. It often speaks of the Middle Path, of patience & of balance.

Another trusted friend & colleague Rudy once posted online a spoken-word poem about how everyone loves the message & delivery of his pieces, both those he originates & his renditions of others’ works, but when he puts down the pen or steps off the stage, he goes back to being just like everyone else: stressed & fallible. This piece really speaks to me. I definitely write a lot about the things people should be doing, but I myself have problems towing the line. I become so offended by callous behavior that I become callous in return; I am judgmental of the judgmental, intolerant of the intolerant, & impatient with the impatient. I find that these reactions are counterproductive to their goals. In the past, some have mistaken my reactions for anger, but I’m really just frustrated with an apparent lack of compassion & am struggling to reach a level of understanding.

That’s really the point behind this blog: taking the things that happen, in the world at large & in my own world, detailing my experiences & expressing my views, so that people can better understand me, & hoping that the comments left on each entry lead to a better understanding of you, by me. This is my journey: to a more enlightened state, where I learn to stand for without standing against/on; to the peace that comes from & leads to forgiveness; to a mutual understanding of the All that Is. This is the story of me walking the Path.

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